Wednesday 2 March 2011

Wainwright in the Castle of Lost Souls

A seasoned adventurer, fresh from clearing off the ghoul-witches of Dastragor Marsh, I head to the nearest tavern for a bottle of Thwaites Wainwright 4.1% and some enterprising gamblers take a bet on whether I get some adventuring job or other. As it turns out, I don't get the job, and some loud-mouthed braggart called Salakar gets it instead. I decide I might be able to steal the job by listening in on the task at hand, and gaining an edge on him and winning gainful employment. Hear something about magic shoes, (test cleverness, succeed), saints ashes and crystal ball.

What's in your backpack?
30-second character sheet, White Dwarf mags,
Beer, Pencil and 2D6

Following our rival, I buy a flint, tinder and lantern from the local shop, why? i don't know, but what's good enough for Salakar is good enough for me. Likewise, as  Salakar heads of into the hills to the north (it's always north isn't it?), he pauses to refresh himself by a brook whilst I take a swig of the Wainwright, the clean light body is quite refreshing, an amiably drinkable beer this one. After a brief rest Salakar sets off again, and promptly gets ambushed by hill goblins, then trounced by a giant, who after a brief fight throws my rival over a cliff. Hurrah! Rushing over to Salad-cart, sorry, Salakar he passes the mantle of champion on to me before biting the dust. Choking back the tears (of laughter), I take the traditional adventurers route of robbing his corpse before creeping up to the Giants cave and hacking at the oversised bully with my sword. Thankfully due to the clumbsyness of the Giant, the fact he'd already taken damage, my armour, and booze-fuelled combat rage he is quickly dispatched.  Time for a celebratory quaff, the later taste is quite citrusy, I can imagine Wainwright would make a killer shandy on warm summer days, and at 4.1%, not to heady, but that's quite enough of that, there's deeds to be done...

Hmm. The Giants cave ends in a T-junction and there is no clue which way to go. What would Salad-cart have done? heading left down a narrow corridor deep into the hill, I find a chest, open it, nearly get pinned by 3 darts, get some Giant rubber gloves. Kinky! Back to the cave then taking the right turn, I find a chamber with a slab and a pool, the stone slab won't shift, but wearing the gloves I can pull a lever under the water. Nice puzzle, very reminiscent of old adventure games or 'Interactive fiction'. The slab moves, and down I go into a secret chamber. Bloody hell! I'm jumped on by a classic D&D regenerating Troll, who does a bit of damage before I hack him to pieces and burn his freakish shrivelled corpse. Glug down some Wainrights to cleanse the pallet of charred Troll flesh, grab the magic shoes and head back to town.

I've got the magic shoes, and nobody gives a stuff about Sauerkraut or whatever he was called being dead. We all have a celebratory guzzle of Wainwright, the lemon tang seems to have mellowed out a bit now, and the crisp dryness is coming though. Apparently these magic shoes are going to send me to a demons castle. Nobody said nothing about no demon, doesn't sound like the kind of adventure that leads to more beer (how wrong I am, and it also leads to pulling a bird too, bonus!). I fail to roll 2d6 over my lowest stat, so have learned nothing from my adventure, although I've got some nice gloves, 33 more gold than I set out with and I idly stood by whilst a rival adventurer got seen off. All in all a good days work. Here ends part one.

Moving swiftly on to Part 2. So this Hogron guy explains the back-story, fathers soul sold to a demon, and he wants to destroy the demon, return the soul to earth etc. etc. At least I've a sense of purpose other than finding more beer. The only way of killing the demon is to collect a bunch of stuff. I hope I don't have to remember or write any of this down, because I really can't be bothered.

The first task is to make a little girl cry. I go Cherie Blair style and chop up an onion, and get the little girls tears, and gain some Honour for not distressing the little darling to much. Then it's off to 'The Four Leaf Clover Inn' to search for some beer, I mean clover. I find both, so that's me doubly happy. By now the Wainwright is warming up slightly, and there's some really nice mountain-water notes going on.  Heading off to the local fete to find a crystal ball, ignoring a cockfight and a conjurer (it's amazing how many little side-tracks and incidental details are built into such a short game), I get into a fight with a cutpurse, kill him and take his stuff.

Eventually finding myself in the exotically perfumed tent of Gipsy Gayl (she's a hawt 80s hippy elf chick with spooky black eyes, see illustration). I decide to chat her up a bit, taker her out and get her drunk (at the cost of 5 gold). The Wainright is quite foamy and light, definitely proving itself an easy drinker. Unfortunately Gayl isn't as easy, but suitably intoxicated, she dances off with a tambourine, and I return to her caravan to rob her of her mysterious globe.

Pris, Basic Pleasure Model for Military Personnel
Gypsy Gail by Gary Ward

Now only requiring a chink of armour from a chivalrous knight, I visit the relic collector Wincho, who promptly displays the armour of famed sir knight whatever. He offering tea and cake, I counter by offering to finish off the rest of the bottle of Wainrights, which in summary starts with a clean fresh, light body, with a dry aromatic citrisy finish. But while Winchos back is turned I nick some of the sacred armour. Having gained all the items I get an additional point of honour, yay! Unfortunately Honour alone won't refill my bottle, so rather than trapes on to WD 54 and the final chapter, I rest my magic boots here.

Great beer, great adventure, 2-2 draw, which will require a rematch to finish part 3...

Castle of Lost Souls, seriealised in White Dwarf 52, 53, 54, by Dave Morris 
illustrated by Gary "Caverns of the Snow Witch" Ward (need to do an article on this guy, amazing work, up there with the best of Dave Andrews drawings).Wainwright is brewed by Thwaites and widely available in UK supermarkets.

The adventure continues in: Franks Alcoholic Root Beer In the Castle of Lost Souls


  1. Liked the way you picked the White Dwarf version over the Golden Dragon gamebooks one. What rules are used? Reason I ask is that this was going to be a Fighting Fantasy adventure originally, before it joined the Golden Dragon series instead.



  2. Actually no, Andy. Crossed Souls was always planned as a GD book. It was Lord of Shadow Keep that was going to be a Fighting Fantasy book, only Oliver got drunk with the editor-in-chief at Grafton and signed it over to them instead. (And didn't tell Puffin, naughty boy.)

    Great write-up, though - had me laughing all the way through. And evidently you appreciate the importance of a good tipple to gamebook design ;)

  3. Sorry, my bad. Knew it was one of the two!

  4. Glad you enjoyed it Dave!

    From what I can see, the system appears to be quite different from the Golden Dragon one, having 5 stats, including Honour which doesn't appear on the GD character sheet. Perhaps it's unique to this adventure?